is the test?
catheterization is a procedure that enables your doctor to examine the inside
of your heart to diagnose a variety of potential heart problems. Your doctor
may recommend this procedure if you are suffering from symptoms of coronary
artery disease, such as chest pain or shortness of breath, or if other
diagnostic tests such as an EKG or stress test indicate possible heart
cardiac catheterization, the cardiologist uses x-ray guidance to insert a
catheter (thin tube) into an artery in either your leg or your arm and advance
it into the area of the heart that needs to be examined. Sensors on the
catheter tip can measure mechanical activity, blood pressure, and help locate
blockages. Blood samples can also be taken to check oxygen content. A contrast
medium can be injected through the catheter, which enables your doctor to take
x-ray pictures (angiograms) of the heart and coronary arteries. This process is
called coronary angiography. These pictures can show problems with blood flow,
as well as the movement of the heart wall.
How do I
cardiologist will give you specific instructions prior to the catheterization
regarding your medications. You may also be asked to have blood work performed
at the medical center laboratory a week to ten days before the catheterization.
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your cardiac catheterization.
Because you will receive a mild sedative during the procedure, you must bring a
family member or friend with you to drive you home afterwards. Cardiac
catheterization patients typically return home the day of the test.
What can I
expect during the test?
catheterization is performed using local anesthesia. Either your arm or leg is
anesthetized, depending on where the catheter is inserted. You may also be
given a mild sedative to help you relax. You are awake during the procedure
since you may be asked to cough, breathe deeply, or hold your breath during the
catheterization. The procedure itself is painless; however, you may feel warm
or flushed for several seconds if a contrast medium is used.
and when will I get my test results?
cardiologist will discuss your test results with you immediately following the
cardiac catheterization. The findings will also be shared with your primary
care physician. Based on this information, your doctors will be better able to
diagnose your heart problem and advise you on your course of treatment.
After the test?
the procedure you’ll be asked to lie quietly for a few hours. A doctor or nurse
will apply pressure for ten to twenty minutes where the catheter was inserted
to prevent bleeding. During that time, we will monitor your blood pressure
frequently and inspect the catheter insertion point regularly to be sure that
all signs of bleeding have stopped. After discharge, you should limit your
activities for one to two days and avoid any lifting.
is the test performed?
cardiologists who are credentialed in cardiac catheterization perform this
procedure in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Cayuga Medical Center, 101
Dates Drive, off NYS Route 96, in Ithaca. We use the latest techniques and
technology and operate one of the newest cath labs in
New York State. Our program is approved by the New York State Department of
Health and accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare
Medical Center is an affiliate of the Rochester Heart Institute at Rochester General
Hospital, a Cleveland Clinic Heart Surgery Center.